Many of my clients are anxious to know how a DUI will effect them, and for how long. The concern is that a DUI conviction: limits your ability to drive, impact your employment opportunities, effects insurance rates, carries with it a social stigma, gives you a criminal record, and acts as a prior for future DUI's .
In Utah, a DUI conviction will stay on your record for 10 years. A second DUI within that 10 years period dramatically increases the penalties you face if convicted again, and a third DUI within the 10 year period is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in the State Prison.
Once ten years have passed, you will be eligible to expunge your DUI conviction, and it will no longer be used as a prior conviction. This ten year waiting period for expungement is the longest for any type of crime in Utah. For example, felonies can be expunged after seven years, and some misdemeanors can be expunged after three years, but any alcohol related driving offense must wait the full ten years.
I have been successful in negotiating with prosecutors to reduce a DUI charge to an alcohol impaired driving charge or even a non-alcohol related reckless driving, under certain circumstances. A reduction to straight reckless driving is not always possible, depending on the fact of the case, but when it happens, it reduces the time the conviction is on a client's record by more than half. A reduction to alcohol impaired driving can help you keep your drivers license, and lessen the impact on your insurance, but it acts as a prior conviction for future DUI charges, and cannot be expunged until after the ten year waiting period.
If you want to avoid having a DUI on your record for ten years, call me to schedule an appointment. I will review the facts of the case and see what if any negotiations can be done to reduce your conviction. The best advice I have is not to drink and drive.